HAO–Community Matters

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Monday, May 27, 2013

HAO recently asked its community for input in the form of a two-minute survey. As a National Center serving the solar and space physics community, we need to understand if we are having the desired impact on our community. Input from the community helps us to set our strategic priorities as we move forward.

Community Matters Survey
Community Matters Survey

We queried about 1,000 stakeholders, and received a great response of over 20% to the survey. There were two big takeaway messages:

What we’re doing well: There was strong positive response regarding our scientific leadership (80% rated HAO’s impact in this area as either a 4 or a 5, on a scale of 1-5) and our mentorship of early-career researchers (70% rated HAO’s impact in this area as a 4 or 5). There was also very positive response in the areas of Community Models, instrumentation and facility development (which includes the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory – COSMO) and the HAO Visitor Program.

What we can improve: The responses indicate members of the community would like to see HAO doing more or better in the areas of Data Services, coordination with other solar synoptic programs, and interdisciplinary research to link different areas of solar-terrestrial physics.

“The level of community response to our two-minute survey was very pleasing, so thank you to everyone who responded”, says HAO Director Michael Thompson. “The positive responses regarding the impacts of some of our major activities are greatly appreciated, of course. But the comments about what we can and should do better are extremely valuable feedback to us. Particularly in these times of shrinking budgets, it is important that we make the very best use of the available resources to support our community in both science and service. We will be taking all the inputs from the survey very seriously as we plan our future activities.”

One thing we are currently working on is a better interface to Mauna Loa Solar Observatory data and other data holdings, which we hope will make discovery more efficient and flexible. We will be working with some community members in the near future to help us develop use cases. If you are interested in taking part in that, please contact Joanne Graham at joanneg@ucar.edu.